Grace Annamay Carlsen Lettis
COOPERSTOWN — Grace Annamay Carlsen Lettis of Cooperstown, passed away Sunday afternoon, Jan. 5, 2014, at Albany Medical Center. She was 85.
Born May 13, 1928, in Lindenhurst on Long Island, Grace was the fourth child of Ole Gustove and Anna Nicole Nelson Carlsen. Both her parents had emigrated from Norway in the early part of the 20th Century.
When she was a teenager, Grace’s family moved to Brooklyn where she attended Washington Irving High School. After World War II the family moved to Oneonta where she worked as a telephone operator and later at Bresee’s Department Store.
It was during this time that she met her future husband, Donald Robert (Bob) Lettis. They were married in Oneonta in 1947 and in 1950 they moved to Worcester where Bob taught school. In 1956, Bob’s profession took the family to Cooperstown. While living in Cooperstown, Grace was employed at the Smart Shop and Nick Sterling’s Ski Shop, both in Cooperstown and Konstanty’s Ski Shop in Oneonta. In 1964 the family moved to New Jersey where Grace served as a long distance operator while her husband did graduate work at Pratt Institute in New York City. In 1966 the family moved to Hingham, Mass., where they lived for 36 years.
During the years that they lived in Massachusetts Grace received her baccalaureate degree from the University of Massachusetts in Boston and her Master’s Degree in Social Work from Simmons College. She became a Licensed Social Worker and was employed by the South Shore Mental Health Clinic in Quincy, Mass., and was with the Hingham Visiting Nurses Association when she retired in 1987.
Her greatest pleasure and passion were her gardens. She had three at her home in Hingham, the most beloved of which was her rose garden which she maintained along the white picket fence at the side of “Shipcote,” located on Ship Street in Hingham. Passersby would stop and photograph the beautiful roses and artists would set up their easels and paint them.